What to Wear in the Summer

Muslim woman wears full cover in Jerusalem.

How Should You Dress?

Many Americans have the mistaken notion that Israel is a place where “women have to be completely covered and walk ten feet behind their husbands.” While that is generally not the case, especially for tourists, there are some dress related issues to keep in mind.

In order to pack and dress appropriately for your tour, you need to consider several factors.

WEATHER: The weather will range from warm and dry to hot and humid. The average daytime high temperatures in the areas you will visit are: Jerusalem (85), Tel Aviv (88), Tiberias (97), and Masada (100+). You should check the weather in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

COMFORTABLE and MODEST: Comfortable and modest is a theme we try to follow at Discipleship Travel LLC.

Since you will be getting on and off of a tour bus and walking a considerable amount throughout the day we recommend that you dress comfortably in loose, lightweight clothing. Choosing clothing that can be hand washed and hung up to dry in the hotel will reduce the amount of clothes you need to bring. Be aware that Jerusalem may cool off at night, thus a light jacket or sweater/sweatshirt is a good idea.

We also need to remind you that you will be visiting religious sites and other culturally conservative areas, so you should keep modesty in mind when selecting comfortable clothing for your tour.

In most cases, covering the knees and shoulders for both men and women is appropriate summer dress. However, there may be times where longer pants or skirts will help you and the local population feel more comfortable. The guide/leader will let you know when modest dress is a more sensitive issue or absolutely necessary.

You may also want to bring a swimsuit or some type of water wear (and a towel) for rafting on the Jordan, swimming in the Sea of Galilee, floating on the Dead Sea, and hiking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

HATS: The summer sun in Israel can be extreme, so consider bringing a hat or other head cover to help protect you from the sun. Some may prefer a light sun umbrella. Also, men are required to cover their heads while in synagogues, and almost anything counts as a cover: ball caps, fedora, bandanas, etc. Men may also opt to buy a souvenir yarmulka to use for cover in Jewish areas.

SHOES: Because you will be doing a LOT of walking, be sure to bring comfortable and stable footwear that will be appropriate for stairs, hills, dirt trails and rocky, uneven terrain. Many travelers are happy with hiking sandals, light hiking boots or sturdy sneakers (i.e., running/walking/basketball). We strongly recommend water shoes for use at the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Heels and cowboy boots are typically not a good idea on a Discipleship Travel LLC study tour.

JEWELRY: Wedding rings and modest accent jewelry are appropriate. You are wise not to draw unnecessary attention to your most valuable and prized jewelry; leave it at home in a secure location (e.g., a safe or safe deposit box). The less (and less expensive) jewelry that you bring, the less you will be concerned with its safety and whereabouts. And, if you ever feel like you didn’t bring enough jewelry or you simply want to add something from Israel to your collection, your guide can help you find a trusted local jewelry vendor.

BAGGAGE LIMITS: As you choose what items to bring, be aware that each passenger is limited to 1 checked bag and 1 carry on, and 1 personal item with the following limitations:

Checked Bag: A checked bag can weigh up to 50 lbs. and may not exceed 62 linear inches, including wheels and handles. The linear measurement = length + height + width.

Carry On:  The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, including handles and wheels.

Personal Item: The maximum dimensions for your personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches.

If you have any additional questions about what to wear, please do not hesitate to contact me at craig@discipleshiptravel.com.